This week’s closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex highlights how arduous economic exchange with the DPRK can be. China knows this well. Keen to develop its own northeast, Beijing has been throwing money and heft at the borderland all century long. The latest bilateral step? Théo Clément heads to Dandong to investigate.
In his second essay for Sino-NK, Théo Clément examines two SEZ developments on the North Korean side of the border, Mubong and Kyongwon. There he finds signs of competing local initiatives, logistical savvy, and reciprocal dialogue with Chinese partners.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are spaces of great potential in North Korea. Théo Clément evaluates the terrain, based on his own on-site inspection and a holistic reading of North Korea’s premier northern SEZ.